~ notes from an uncommon journey ~

Favorite Finds: January 2013

Today I'm beginning a new monthly series I'm calling Favorite Finds, where I'll share things, mostly internet posts, that I most enjoyed or appreciated in the past month. (They'll be things I found during the month, regardless of when they were posted.) Hope you also enjoy these selections. And feel free to share in the comments your favorite finds and recent posts from your blog as well.

So here are some of my favorite finds from January 2013:

Favorite jaw-dropping photo set: Chicago's Freezing Fire, from The Atlantic:

Hat tip: Rachel Held Evans.

Favorite weird-but-true story (as told by Time): Giant Goat Cheese Fire Shuts Down Norway Tunnel.

Two favorite posts on body image: Megan Gahan's A Love Letter to My Body, at She Loves Magazine:
I never really saw you, did I? For what you really are.
So please accept this most humble apology. I promise to show you the respect you deserve.
Dear Body,
I love you.
And Dani Kelley's The body I have:
Neither being fat nor being female is shameful.
Favorite post that reminded me of an Oatmeal cartoon without being an Oatmeal cartoon: Jeremy Bowman's Me and Sleep vs. Things.

Two favorite posts about the Christian church: church and dysfunctional family, also from the nakedpator:
I’m reading an excellent book by by the Jungian analyst James Hollis called “Finding Meaning in the Second Half of Life“. On his chapter on family, he wonders what would happen to our lives and to our world if parents could “unconditionally affirm the child“....
What if the church chose to embrace and proclaim [similarly affirming people unconditionally] with sincerity and conviction? In my opinion, this would be true evangelism and a revolutionary kind of church-planting where new, diverse and unique communities of unconditional love would crop up all over the place.
And Matthew Paul Turner's Spiritual Abuse Must Stop (A Blog Post):
In my opinion, despite all the good deeds that might happen inside the machine, in order to measure a church’s worth, one must also take into consideration the souls, the people that church has bruised.
So many wrote that they’ve pretty much given up on the church. And that might be true. But in many instances, the church gave up on them. We, members of the universal church of Christ, need to stand up and speak out on behalf of the victims of spiritual abuse. All too often, because of fear or because of disbelief or because “the church must have had their reasons,” we ignore and devalue the stories of hurting people. Sure, sometimes a person’s story might turn out to be farfetched. But that is an excuse we have used for far too long. That is how abuse continues to occur inside the walls of churches.
Favorite new contribution toward the healing of America's political divide: The My Obama Year project:
It’s against that backdrop of endless noise [our current political climate] I’m deciding to make an intentional change. As I have planned this project over the past months I’ve had many people tell me that they think taking a year to live on the other side of the aisle an interesting idea then they ask the inevitable question “So how exactly are you going to do that?” My answer is that I’m going to use a skill that has been seemingly forgotten; something that my father always taught me was the most powerful thing that one person can do for another. I’m going to listen.
Instead of arguing I’m going to try to understand. Instead of waiting for the other person to take a breath so I can jump in and make my very clever point, I’m going to spend this year putting myself in the position of supporting the President and sojourning with the majority of Americans who have given him two terms in office. I’m embarking on an Obama year.

Some may not understand why I have chosen to walk this path. Some will think I’ve given up my principles and compromised my beliefs. Still others may think that a project like this is a waste of time better spent in other pursuits. To them I simply reply that while I cannot predict where this path I have started on will end up I have (dare I say it?) the audacity to hope that perhaps I can be a small part of the healing that our country desperately needs.
Two favorite ways that men have tried to better understand what women sometimes go through: Men Try Machine That Creates Sensation of Labor. (video!)

And Joel Anderson's T.I., "Gender Night," and Unlearning Misogyny.
So...the boys were told to get into a single line as we gathered outside the camp’s central building. Then, a twist: we were told we had to go in one at a time. The girls would be waiting on us.
I was first in line. The room was dark. All was silent.
I nervously walked inside and briskly walked down the narrow path to the other side of the room. The girls were lined up on each side of the path, and bombarded me with the sorts of lewd catcalls that I had laughed off for much of my life.
Hat tip: Dianna E. Anderson.

Favorite reminder re depression: Jamie Wright's Jesus or Zoloft?:
I remembered the one thing some Christians will never admit out loud, which is that sometimes Jesus isn't all you need. Sometimes you need Zoloft....

And guess what? It helps!

Guess what else? Depression is not a sin.
Favorite post with a globalizing perspective: Lynne Hybels' Women in the Holy Land — Just Like Me:
On subsequent trips to Latin America, North Africa, and the Middle East [after trips to the Balkans and sub-Saharan Africa] I discovered more women just like me.  Except they were suffering in ways I never have—and probably never will....

Robi [an Israeli woman] has become my friend and mentor.  She’s a mother and a grandmother—just like me.  But she and the other peacemaking women I met in Israel are more than that: they’re heroes.  They believe in the security, freedom and dignity of all the people in the Holy Land—Christians, Muslims and Jews—and they aren’t afraid to see and to speak the truth, even when that truth is unpopular or controversial.  My goal for 2013 is to become more like them.
Favorite segment (from my all-time favorite morning show, CBS Sunday Morning): Global show of support leaves Newtown "snowed in." Might want to have the tissues handy!

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What's your favorite thing that you've read or written lately?

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